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How about a nation made up of ocean going cities?

Home Forums Community Dreaming / Crazy Ideas / Speculation How about a nation made up of ocean going cities?

This topic contains 25 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by Profile photo of William Holz William Holz 6 months, 1 week ago.

Viewing 11 posts - 16 through 26 (of 26 total)
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  • #23458
    Profile photo of William Holz
    William Holz
    Member

    “I have had a job or two where people were very equal, and cooperative, and life was enjoyable. Then there was the opposite. I know what William is talking about is possible, but the odds are stacked against it.”
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    That’s an excellent starting point, Kat! Thanks!
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    That’s actually why I’ve got so much focus on psychology and motivation and why I put so much work into forcing as little on people as possible. You use basic principled hiring to established an ‘asshole free zone’ and set people loose from there. There are still complications, of course, but I’m pretty sure I’ve overengineered if anything. There are a number of existing contexts that don’t apply the same way (like work-life balance) and I designed under the assumption that none of those changes would help when in reality I have little doubt that each of those steps will make things run more smoothly and I’ve got a good bit of evidence to support it.
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    I didn’t go too in-depth into the various failed (and non-failed) planned communities in the articles. . . but that’s only because when I was trying to describe things before I was being hurt by the association, but that may have been an audience thing. I’ll get around to adding a section that goes into more details there (as well as company towns, existing peaceful civilizations like those in peacefulsocieties.org , and more). When I started with all the information NOBODY READ ANYTHING, so I’ve been trying to make things people might read, you know?
    .
    It LOOKS complicated, but only in the context of the world we’re living in now. That’s why we’re exploiting the corporation, it’s the only legal framework that I’m aware of that can give us the ability to do that without having to force people who don’t want to be involved to agree with us (People choosing to be part of their lives? Shock!). The fact that it’s abusively powerful is a perk, of course.
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    When you look at it in it’s entirety and compare it to (for example) the entire scope of living/working in America then it’s actually a LOT simpler.
    .
    EXPLAINING it. . now that’s been a freakin’ nightmare!

    #23508
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    I am just wondering how William’s “commerce/business” plan would handle the following situation of waste.
     
    I am spending way too much time enclosing an open 34x24ft of driveway space, which i also roofed over. The enclosing is to reduce noise boat-building exiting and dogs barking incoming, as well as the bees which are attracted to some power tools i have. But the mental problem i am having with it is that for seasteading, it’s a waste of time, money and effort, because after i have a liveable boat on the water, i am outa here. Ths space i am enclosing is not something enhancing the property, it’s detracting from it’s appearances. I expect there are other people in similar circumstances.
     
    I am lucky i have a trailer (which i built and got tagged) and a tow truck (which i did not build), so i can drag the boat (mostly in pieces) to the water. But once there, i don’t foresee a need for the truck or trailer.
     
    My house isn’t finished, i stopped work on it after a turning point in a court proceeding over 10 years ago, in which i essentially lost my rights to enjoy my property to the neighbor’s dogs. Plus there’s the trash fire smoke, gunfire, etc.. I am not planning on spending another dime on it, other than the enclosed driveway space for boat building.
     
    So how would a world-wide independant virtual nation handle this waste?

    #23510
    Profile photo of William Holz
    William Holz
    Member

    Oh! I like these!
    .
    Okay, first of all I do have to circle back and point out that I had a more landsteading-to-seasteading approach . . . but that’s just because it makes for a much easier transition.
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    So, first part of the scenario is the creation of a Peoplesphere, and until we have a few of them they’d be a bit generic . . . so the answer changes depending on how far along the timeline we are.
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    Early Peoplespheres need a purpose because that’s how we get the resources to create more of them (and eventually floating cities). So for example let’s say we have a group of Worldminers established and they identify a business opportunity to create a more sophisticated version of the software they use in hospitals that’s designed for use by actual human beings using the sort of methodologies used for game engines. (If you haven’t seen it, the interface looks a like this http://www.ehrscreenshots.com/files/2011/05/025_PastMedicalHistoryTemplate.jpg)
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    If a skunkworks-type project can be set up this becomes a low-effort high-profit opportunity (I’m VERY familiar with that aspect of the private-public partnership) . . . but to really make this whole thing work you want to gather a collection of people who can work and live somewhat harmoniously. Motivation’s FAR more important than skillset here . . I hit on some of the science in the articles but I’ll happily add more if needed.
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    So we’re going to pretend we’ve found a sponsor or investor there.
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    Once we’re there there’d be a somewhat organic stage during which we’re identifying staff AND developing the environment. We don’t want to impose our will much because that begins to detract from the productivity advantage. So let’s say we’ve got the ability to staff 250 people (and just like Valve and Mondragon . . . very flat salaries at first . . and hopefully various moneyless and polyeconomic experiments down the road).
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    We start with a core set of skillsets (data analytics, game programming (possibly a specific engine like Unity), various clinical skills (nursing and PA in particular), and so on) and we gather well motivated, low maintenance, and reasonable people. We let them decide how they want to govern internally and because we’re way over the ’42 or more’ size minimum there’s room for a few options. . so if one group wants to live in little underground homes and another wants to live in a repurposed executive suite type hotel that’s just fine . . though of course in the early stages we’d be leaning cheaper at first. . there are lots of awesome unemployed or underemployed people,right? Similarly we’d be experimenting with various different housing options (including ones that the owners heavily customize and can expand vs. ones that are more generic)
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    And THAT is where we deal with your fundamental issue, because the whole point is that we don’t want people to have to worry about stupid laws that are designed to keep reckless/irresponsible/jerkish people from ruining everyone else’s day. . . we don’t hire those people and can fire them if they sneak in. Instead we expect EVERYONE to behave like a reasonable civilized adult and keep laws and management to an absolute minimum unless absolutely necessary.
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    So in the early stages people would be agreeing on some fairly generic options unless somebody tosses an idea up there and everyone is really keen on it (I’m very pro-specialization). We’d be avoiding being wasteful as much as possible and we’re going to not so much be anti-ownership as minimize the need for people to own anything except for things that they treasure.
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    Some of this isn’t unusually useful in the early stages but sets the stage for later.
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    Stepping ahead in the timeline . . . let’s pretend we’ve got a couple of dozen landsteads in different countries. . . each is more heavily customized and we’re allowing people to move semi-freely between them (and we make sure each has extra space for people in each of its’ housing groups). Perhaps a couple of experiments have become really popular and half of them have a random-act-of-senseless-kindness gift economy or something but let’s assume that hasn’t quite happened yet. However, we’ve got the opportunity to do some pure research (either due to our profitability or because we’ve again got a sponsor/grant/contract that supports it). I
    .
    I’m assuming that we haven’t already had the opportunity to set up any seasteads yet . . that doesn’t need to be so but I wanted to hit a fun scenario where a seastead would provide enough of an advantage to justify the extra setup cost (We’ve seen lots of good ones here!) . . . so this is me tossing in a quirky angle and shouldn’t detract from all the other great reasons to set up a seastead.
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    But I HAVE always believed that the only reason that we haven’t come up with a good Grand Unified Theory is because Einstein, Leary, and Feynman never got to drop acid together.
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    Pretending we can’t find a host nation with a more sensible drug policy international waters ARE kind of the next best option there, right? And if we’re responsibly using mind-enhancing and altering techniques we’ve generated another competitive advantage AND created something that would be very appealing to exactly the sort of person that thinks great thoughts. :)
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    So . . .we again go through the same process but this time we’re just doing it at sea. . we still are making a bunch of decisions early that customizes the group so that they can live more harmoniously in general and we’ve got enough experiments running (and people who are thriving in the system) that we can partially seed the new operation while gathering some new blood to help take us to the next level. We focus on research that either greatly increases our profitability OR helps us lower the cost of our expansion. . . hopefully both.
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    So, a bit long but I wanted to kind of wrap the pieces together. The hope is that every single sphere has their own set of rules, laws, standards, customs, traditions and each is running real-world experiments on how to make life more enjoyable and break away from the various things that are trapping us in a societal rut.
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    I will freely admit that I feel a tiny bit dirty at the idea of using a more corporate/profit approach here . . . but at the same time there is a certain elegance to exploiting capitalism from within and I’m fully aware of the long term impact of having a bunch of offers like this vs. McDonalds and Oklahoma. ;)
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    And with all that the answer in a nutshell is you’d never have to worry about stupid crap like that because that’s a big part of the point. You’d still have to adhere to whatever rules are involved in your new location . . . but you can always leave if you don’t like them and places that are a PITA to live in aren’t going to be terribly popular while those that work really well for you specifically are also going to be filled with other people who chose that sort of life before they even got there.
    .
    Did that kind of cover it?

    #23511
    Profile photo of OCEANOPOLIS
    OCEANOPOLIS
    Participant

    I personally think your ideas could work very well on a seastead. (with or without dropping acid :))

    In fact, it would work MUCH better on a seastead than on land due to less interference of any “sort” and also due to the fact that the “homework” of “identifying a business opportunity” is somehow done.. Don’t feel “dirty” about the corporate/profit “approach”. Money is needed no matter what or where (specially on a seastead). Plus, on a seastead, the business “structure” and “bylaws” can be CALLED and BE anything, therefore qualitative much better than a “corporation”, as we now it so far.

    Finding a sponsor or investor needs to be addressed,…unless the whole “venture” is self sponsored by the members involved (which alternative I am a big fan of).

    #23512
    Profile photo of William Holz
    William Holz
    Member

    Oh yeah, you’re probably right Ocean . . . this could easily start as a pure-seasteading thing and if I had my druthers I’d be on the first of them. :)
    .
    I’ve just been putting a lot of work into making that possible while also having a softer transition for some people. I rank ‘enabling good people to take over their own lives’ slightly above choosing any specific method and we can give this opportunity to more people more quickly if we use land as a transition . . plus it’s not like living on land is BAD . . just potentially disadvantageous.
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    I’m fairly confident that we can gather more people with a broader net and we can use those landsteads to take over parts of the supply chain that specifically involve the construction of seasteads . . . so we become our own best customer and reduce the cost of creating more of them by cutting out the middleman AND increasing the quality.
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    I’m not sure if we can build enough seasteads quickly enough to give people on the coasts places to escape to within a hundred years (we’re expecting . . what . . three billion people displaced or so?), but in combination we’re much more likely to be able to pull it off.
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    So it’s kind of a dance between what I want personally and the moral imperative, y’know? I figure this way we’re flexible enough to adapt as the situation changes and new opportunities present themselves.

    #23513
    Profile photo of
    Anonymous

    May i suggest you start by finding places on the usa gulf coast, east coast, and west coast for construction and launching of seasteads at very little costs? Assuming it is instrumental in launching seasteads, it could also turn into repair, teaching, construction, research, and a water taxi service. Some place cheap away from all the existing places, which seem to be all near residential areas (aka interference). If someone is going to build a seastead, they can start by supplying all their own infrastructure there, it’s their personal infrastructure, it goes on their seastead. Until someone has the money to donate/lend infrastructure to the commons.
     
    I am trying real hard to have my work space ready for delivery of steel for making 3ft pontoons by the end of this week. I figure to launch on a bay or river near to the gulf coast, work on something there (it’s up my sleeve right now) to manage on open water. It’s simply impossible to do anything interesting on the lake near here.
     
    I am not a people person.
     
    You mentioned recreational (or self exploration) drugs, you should be aware the usa gov has announced years ago it will enforce federal anti-everything laws against usa citizens no matter where they are in the world, including on the water. Confiscation of the entire seastead is a possibility. I suspect this is a huge part of the Fonseca Project.

    #23514
    Profile photo of William Holz
    William Holz
    Member

    Yup, like I said I’m a fan of the sea approach but my philosophy is to use EVERY SINGLE TOOL at our disposal and if we can operate more quickly and give more people their lives back by also including land in the conversation then I have a moral imperative to keep that open as well.
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    I am not a people person.

    .
    A sphere for introverts is just as viable as one for extroverts. Everybody agrees to leave each other alone and you don’t have to deal with those crazy noisy sorts nearly so often ;)
    .
    That was another core design element actually. My beloved was also an introvert and I find Susan Cain to be amazingly inspiring. . .this idea is just as much for people like her. . and possibly you. There’s a big analog scale that works everywhere from hermit to just being around people who agree that being introverted is totally cool and everyone agrees not to bug people who don’t want to be bothered.
    .

    You mentioned recreational (or self exploration) drugs, you should be aware the usa gov has announced years ago it will enforce federal anti-everything laws against usa citizens no matter where they are in the world, including on the water. Confiscation of the entire seastead is a possibility. I suspect this is a huge part of the Fonseca Project.

    .
    Yup! I’m very aware of this, but you’ll note that I did NOT say ‘recreational’ . . . I’m not opposed to such things but I see that as more of a second-stage thing. Meanwhile, performing scientific experiments with people using a variety of substances (even ones that are unscheduled because we’re in the process of inventing them) under controlled conditions and documenting their results is actually justifiable.
    .
    Not that I think that’s a good stopping point. We can set up relationships with host nations that aren’t batshit crazy like the USA about such things and transfer citizenship (in exchange for offering perks to said host nation). A micronation is also an option but I actually prefer to ride on top of existing citizenships until we reach critical mass because that way we’re not responsible for people who ‘quit’
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    We can also use our crazy Supreme Court to our advantage. Citizens’ United is exploitable in a number of ways in this framework and if we pull this off that particular ruling can backfire quickly.
    .
    Lastly, that’s why in the Awesome, Inc design I’m VERY big on spilling out benefits to local communities. . specifically in fields that would make it very unpopular to move against us (even without the abusive power of a corporation). . . healthcare and the like. That’s a chunk of the market that largely consists of artificial costs and extremely low quality and it would be an excellent target for the first few spheres.
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    No single aspect covers all the bases, of course . . . but when you combine those with a couple of things I’m sure I forgot AND the fact that we can really easy incorporate other ideas into the framework I think we’re overengineered.
    .
    And of course that was just one little idea that I specifically put in because I hadn’t seen it elsewhere and I thought it would be a fun challenge to demonstrate a way we can do something HARD because that just makes all the easy stuff that much more plausible.

    #23515
    Profile photo of OCEANOPOLIS
    OCEANOPOLIS
    Participant

    Somehow, I have a bad gut feeling about the future, immediate and long term,…That includes big question marks regarding the ability of generating “positive” socioeconomic and political change by working within the present global status quo.

    #23516
    Profile photo of William Holz
    William Holz
    Member

    Change is scary. . . HOPEFUL change is freakin’ terrifying and very few of us haven’t been disappointed in that respect.
    .
    I’ve been at this for a couple of years now semi-obsessively and I’ve got a nice track record for identifying solutions lurking right underneath problems that seem obvious in retrospect but some people find hard to believe until everything’s in play . . . and I’ve never, ever disappointed when I stuck my neck out and believed in something.
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    In some ways this has been a lot easier because I’ve never had a project where I’ve had nearly as much control over the inputs and outputs. It may look big but it’s actually small-but-scaleable.
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    Feel free to chip away at the edges and challenge me a bit ;) I love that stuff, and while in this particular situation its kind of annoying that I can’t just hand this off I admit that I get a bit of pleasure out of being able to hit a few balls out of the park.
    .
    So if there’s anything that seems unaddressed toss it out! Need evidence of people who are able to live/work peacefully? More on how abusively powerful corporations can be towards employees without their consent (which also translates to WITH their consent)? More on the effectiveness of principled hiring? Details on the competitive advantage of Skunkworks type projects? Want to know what REALLY happens to capitalism if we pull this off? Are you wondering why anybody thought a nation-not-of-choice could ever have a useful democracy? (I can answer that . . .but they’re still wrong) Want more inventions or business opportunities? Need more information about some of the psychological science on motivation? The optimism bias? Are you wondering why I really think the Wearable Holodeck is possibly the ultimate green technology? Wondering what my personal thoughts are on what we should do with all the nukes? Worried about what happens if some country or military decides they want to take of our campuses?
    .
    Do you have your own ideas that you’d like to add? Are you wondering if you can have what YOU want? (If it fits with the four(?!) whole principles then most likely it will)
    .
    Or do you have a nice zinger for me? Something maybe I really DID miss? Because THAT would be awesome. . . I love those because that’s the best way for me to get smarter. Finding out I have a totally new problem to find a bunch of solutions for is one of my greatest sources of pleasure.
    .
    We’ve all got things that are our Wu Wei . . . apparently this is mine. It’d be cooler if I didn’t hate the idea of people thinking I’m important or getting a lot of attention (GLAH!), but I lose track of that when I’m in the moment. :)

    #23517
    Profile photo of OCEANOPOLIS
    OCEANOPOLIS
    Participant

    Of course you did miss something :) We all do…

    And I don’t want to bother you with my challenges. (I cannot be that cruel since you sound like a nice guy and it seems that you have your hands full already – in a positive way) :)

    I am only interested in seasteading. But I just started another business and everything else is on hold now.

    #23518
    Profile photo of William Holz
    William Holz
    Member

    I am nice! Very much so!
    .
    But it’s not very useful in the grand scope of design here. Now competence . . . that I’ve got AND it’s useful.
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    I’m being forced to guess here, but I’m wondering if you suspect that all the happy-hippy stuff reflects some naive optimism or failure to really explore and acknowledge all the horrible things that we humans are capable of and prone to do to each other.
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    If that’s the case would you be up for a little thought experiment?
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    Take that same construct we’re talking about and strip out the ‘nice’. . . and extrapolate a bit. What happens to it?
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    The productivity engine suddenly gets a LOT weaker, doesn’t it?
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    (it does . . . because Science!(tm))
    .
    You need the people who are willing to take positive risks AND you need ‘nice’ people to maintain a creative environment that helps maintain that competitive advantage. The fact that this sort of environment is somewhat of an anathema to current large corporate operations is why we get an unfair boost of effectiveness in the early stages.
    .
    The ‘goodness’ does weave itself into other aspects as well . . . a corporation made up of Kaylees and Washes is less overtly threatening, which helps considering how disruptive we plan on being . . . the general approach makes for an excellent recruiting tool for those who fit our profile . . . it’s a LOT of extra work to engineer around the unmotivated and asshattish . . . and a few dozen other bits.
    .
    But mostly it’s to shred the competition wherever we point our non-evil eye. It’s the nitrous in the engine.

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